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Have you heard about Sensoria Smart Socks yet? Probably not. Let me explain what they are and why I am so excited about them.

Before I start, let me be 100% clear, I do not own any positions in this company and will not profit from them in any way. I, myself, have pledged $99 to their startup fund. This is not a commercial, okay?

What are Sensoria Smart Socks?

Sensoria is a new start-up technology company based in Italy working on making a smart sock. Yes, you read that correctly; smart sock. You’re probably thinking to yourself, what could be more dumb than a sock? Not anymore. Sensoria socks are made from a 100% machine washable e-material that also acts like a biometric sensor. When you attach the anklet, it collects that biometric data from your socks, and transmits the data to your smart phone. Take a second and think about that. This is a bit of that “wearable technology” that was being discussed in the Bill McDermott keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW last month. The socks will collect data about where the pressure points on your feet are as you walk, run, cycle, or whatever you do with your feet. I’m a runner so of course the running features really have me interested. For running, Sensoria will let you know if your stride is too long or too short. It will alert you (in real-time) if you are close to setting a personal record, and help you push a little harder to reach it. Sensoria will help you keep your pace. It will also alert you to any motions or behaviors that could lead to injury and help you avoid them. Watch the video on their site. It describes the features really well.

Is this really real?

At the moment, no. It is in very early phases, which is why the company is reaching out to the public for some crowd funding. While not on the popular Kickstarter, Sensoria is up on Indiegogo. It is open for pledges as of the writing of this post. If the company meets its funding goals, it can start production. If not, they promise refunds for the Indiegogo investors and a release at a later date once other funding can be secured. This is their fast-track.

Why is he writing about this on SCN?

Here’s why; this has major potential in the realm of Business Analytics. Sensoria smart socks are really just wearable data collectors about your feet. Imagine with me for a moment. Imagine a shoe store. I’m going in to buy a new pair of running shoes. Instead of the traditional questions asked by the sales associate “Do you like a minimal shoe, or some support? Do you pronate or supineate?” I transfer them an aggregated view of my stride, gait, pressure points, etc., and based on actual data, the sales associate knows exactly what types of shoes are best for me. Imagine what this can do for shoe retailers.

Imagine my high-school-aged daughter’s field hockey team. If the whole team were wearing Sensoria socks, the coach would know who’s running the hardest, who’s sand-bagging, and who might be headed towards an injury.

Imagine a visit to the doctor. I share my Sensoria data with my doctor, and instantly they have a wealth of information about not only the structural health of my feet, but also a good picture of how active I am and how that relates to preventative health.

And that’s just the beginning. We’re going to see a lot more wearable technology in the near future, but I am super-excited that some of it is right around the corner.

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8 Comments

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  1. John Astill

    This is great, I have been looking at different types of wearable tech and bought some for demos that turned out to be unreliable. I am hoping the emerging generation is much better.

    Wearable tech comes in many forms, attachments, socks, straps, I am waiting for the one that gets inserted into your skin like in many scifi movies (ignoring all medical issues)

    The British and Irish Lions are currently touring (beating 😉 ) Australia and have sensors in a ‘Bro’ http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/oval-talk/bump-back-lions-jerseys-162326098.html .

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    1. Greg Myers Post author

      This is going to become the norm. Teams that are using real-time data collection and analytics are going to outperform teams that do not.

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  2. Marilyn Pratt

    Wow. Thanks for sharing this remarkable idea.  Now I know what to hope to get as a gift for my son, who on Saturday just placed 3rd in Canadian National Track and Field Triple Jump. (forgive the proud mom bragging, of course) .  But really this sounds like a defensive system to help prevent injury and improve performance.  As a mom, I care more about ensuring the well-being of my athlete than the outcome of the competitions but I think my son will like this idea.  I’ve just forwarded to hear his input. 

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    1. Greg Myers Post author

      Marilyn, I think that is one of the differentiators of this technology. Most wearable tracker devices today do really well at telling you what you did (steps, miles, stairs, etc.) but nothing on the market today is doing anything predictive with it yet. This is the first I’ve seen that will take your current data and warn you if you’re heading for an injury.

      I find this extremely exciting as a 40+ year-old runner, I struggle with injuries all the time (shin splints presently). How awesome would it be once these are on my feet, and I can see right away how to modify my gait to prevent injury? Wow.

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  3. Tom Van Doorslaer

    I would expect them to come up with a smart shoe-sole instead of a sock.

    You need many pairs of socks, and they wear out pretty fast (at least mine do)

    A pair of shoe soles however, last a lot longer, and you only need one pair.

    practicalities aside: this is really interesting.

    Also for mass events or manifestations. You can gather information on how many people are in a certain area if you link the transmitters to a central receiver.

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    1. Greg Myers Post author

      That’s an interesting idea, Tom. I’m not sure how durable the socks will be. My socks tend to last quite a while. Tying it to the shoe insert is a good option, too, but then you’d only get data while you’re wearing that particular shoe. Having it in the sock does present more opportunities for data collection. Perhaps comparing pairs of shoes?

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      1. Tom Van Doorslaer

        or a transferrable sole?

        one that you can put in any of your shoes (given that they are the same size)

        but than you have the problem of form factor.

        Plus the sole might add extra friction…

        On the other hand, the Sock has an extra advantage. On christmas eve, when you pin your sock to the fireplace, you can set-up an alarm on your phone, to warn you when Santa drops something in your sock and triggers the sensors!

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